I’m among those legions of men that have refused to catch on to going sockless for the summer. Whether wearing one’s pant leg rolled up or hemming some slim-cut khakis to create that slight high-water feel, going sockless is touted as the best way to complement summer/spring fashion.
Alas, for those suffering from overactive sweat glands, the sockless method may not be the most hygienically safe. If sandals (no flip-flops people) are the footwear of choice, then obviously I know my feet would be well ventilated. However, walking around in 100 degree weather in some lace-up dress shoes or loafers sans socks will produce a sea of perspiration that would send my feet into an abyss of funk and threaten the life of my shoes.
But such is fashion that you can trust where roadblocks arise, new roads will be paved.
While on assignment in Milan and Paris for the spring/summer men’s collections, Scott Schuman, The Sartorialist himself, spotted the odd but ingenious pairing of ankle socks with lace-ups. After having seen sifted through enough sockless fashion week attendees to send me into an envious breakdown, Schuman spied an ankle sock worn with dress shoes complete with rolled-hem pants—summer style couldn’t have gotten better. I held my breath for fear it was just an isolated statement of style unique to the mysterious Milanese gentleman, but low and behold another chap in Paris was spotted wearing ankle socks with lace-ups. Trepidation was overcome with excitement. Then reason set in and humbled my fervor as I asked myself, “Can I really parade around in ankle socks?”
There’s no doubting that this mishmash of ultra-comfy and ultra-formal definitely raises eyebrows, but I’m not about to get desperate. Variety is the spice of life and ankle socks sure do offer that element of choice to those who want to flash some ankle without the risk of leaving a snail trail of odor. Then again, idiosyncrasy is not for the faint-hearted and given my pent-up giddiness after stumbling onto this would-be fad, I think it all went to my head a little too fast.
Who knows, perhaps high-end fashion in the likes of Junya Watanabe (his Argyle sock game is delightful) will tailgate this sock trend, and then maybe I’ll summon up the courage to venture out ankle socks and all. As for now, my ankles remain contented with the suave modesty of mandals (yes, male sandals).